Anaximander Fragment – For Amanda
The benefits of being truly scary will not be lost on non-Norwegian fans of Black Metal. Wear all the black makeup you want; it will always be hard to compete with maniacal forebearers willing to burn churches and murder their own bandmates.
While being strange and scaring people may not help you make friends, or fend off those restraining orders, it certainly makes for an interesting listen. That is, of course, if the warning signs don’t turn out to have been real, in which case an apology will follow this review in the not too distant future.
Anaximander Fragment is a slowcore, poetic ransom note that is difficult not to take seriously. It’s the ultimate art as payback. Behind the folk-punk misanthropic lyrics though, there’s a great, albeit decadent imagination. The song moves at a snail’s pace, conveniently making it feel like being forced to see something that is playing out in slow motion.
Metro Expo – Merry-go-Round
Music that has generally fallen out of favour with the regular public is a prime source of material for rock music to plunder. Rarely does rock sound out of this world nowadays, but the twisted, humorous, yet menacing European fairground music sounds are the best excuse to start weaving a complex and strange tale.
This is what Belgium’s Metro Expo does on Merry-go-Round, a track that sounds like Tom Waits writing music for a new play. If it is true that humans are more prone to notice lack of harmony when viewing objects, then it is also true that they are more likely to pay attention to music that seems out of place in most modern contexts than to what might be playing on the radio.
Not even the pleasantly sung choruses can make this feel any less eerie. It all feels like walking into a dream that’s suddenly been lit up by colour.